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Many years ago the mountains of the Latemar were mined for precious metals by Venetian adventurers who lived in dark caves and shafts that they dug into the rocks near the Reiterjoch pass. The miners hid their riches in caves deep inside the mountain far from prying eyes and it was said that only the sacred fires lit on St. John's eve at midsummer could reveal the entrances.
One late afternoon after midsummer, two farmers from nearby Welschnofen ventured up into the rugged moonscapes of the Latemar hunting for treasure and were lucky enough to find one of the entrances to a cave. They carefully entered a dark tunnel and after only a few steps saw a human skull lying on the ground. One of the two farmers carefully took off his hat, put it on the skull and lifted it into the air on the end of his walking stick. Suddenly an arrow shot out of the darkness, piercing the skull and knocking it to the ground.

Very cautiously, the two farmers ventured deeper into the tunnel until they reached a large cave. The ceiling, walls and floor shone with precious metals and gold and silver treasures lay littered on the ground. In one corner they saw a beautiful game of skittles of solid gold, guarded by 2 huge black dogs with fiery eyes. The two farmers stood frozen, not daring to proceed. Suddenly there came the sounds of a terrible thunderstorm from outside the cave. Claps of thunder made the mountain shake, flashes of lightning lit up the distant cave entrance and the roar of a fierce mountain wind could be heard echoing around the cave walls. Fearing the cave would collapse the two farmers stumbled out into the night ready to face the storm, but found a clear moonless, warm summer night. 

Confused and relieved, the two farmers turned back to the cave entrance but it had vanished. Despite searching all night and for many days after, they never found it again.


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